The women’s crown green bowls section commenced the 2023 season with the Hands Trophy non-winners’ competition at Breagle Glen, Port Erin.

With a good entry of 24 the format decided upon was a straight knockout. The standard of bowls was really high even after the six-month break.

The diversity in ages was also good to see with the oldest player, Rita Callister, playing the youngest player, Grayse Blencoe, proving this sport is for everyone.

The quarter-finals saw Jayne Smith beat Tina Hampson 21-9, Lynda Wilson beat Libby Andrade 21-11, Jo Corkill defeat Tracy Moore 21-10 and Sylvia Kennaugh beat Marilyn Ellison 21-16.

In the semi-finals Smith put an end Wilson’s winning streak 21-18 and Kennaugh to Corkill’s 21-18.

The final was a game of two halves with Smith running away with it to be 19-9 in front.

Kennaugh then regained the jack to come back to only two points behind at 19-17.

The last end was a showpiece with Kennaugh lying on for one but Smith took the jack with the last bowl of the end to secure the elusive two points required to take the title and her first open competition win.

The irony of this is that she is now no longer a non-winner. Congratulations to her.

The presentation was made by competition secretary and a very proud mum, Chris Holland, who thanked those who stayed until the end, Port Erin for the use of the green and the catering. It was a great start to the year.




The British Merit qualifier took place at a cold and windy Onchan green on Sunday afternoon with nine women participating.

This necessitated one prelim being played between Sandra May (Onchan) and Louise Tebay (Ballaugh).

Although the green proved quite difficult to read, it was level-pegging all the way but Tebay edged ahead towards the end to win 21-17.

The quarter-finals saw some real tussles and quality bowling with Jayne Smith (Marown) beating Debbie Leece (Marown) 21-13, Kim Hargraves (South Ramsey) beating Janet Monk (Mooragh Park) 21-12 and Sue Gawne (Noble’s) defeating her Lakers team-mate Tebay 21-15.

Fiona Kennish (South Ramsey) and Caroline Whitehead (Port Erin) had a superb game with the former coming out ahead at 21-18.

The semi-finals saw Smith beat Kennish 21-8 and Gawne defeat Hargraves 21-10.

The final between Smith and Gawne saw Smith get off to a flying start, leading 10-2 before Gawne decided it was time to join in.

There were some excellent ends in this thoroughly watchable final but Smith’s experience in short mat shone through Gawne had given herself a bit too much to do, the score ending 21-18. Thank you to Onchan for the excellent catering and stewarding and to everyone who stayed to support the finalists.

At this point we have not been advised of our allocation for the British Senior Merit competition but congratulations Jayne and good luck competing in Lancashire on July 8.

Sue Gawne